The first small vibrations were felt in Whitehall nine days ago, when The Mail contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday to say that we were in possession of the dynamite memos from Sir Kim Darroch.
Initially, Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt officials responded with misplaced sang froid. & # 39; Our Washington team has strong relationships with the White House and we have no doubt that they are resistant to such naughty behavior & # 39 ;, a spokesperson said coldly.
That estimate is likely to be accurate about Britain's long-standing close relationship with the US, but not with the unfortunate Sir Kim.
Shortly after his Oval Office briefing, President Trump launched his first Twitter tirade about Sir Kim: "I don't know the ambassador, but he is not loved or well conceived in the US," he wrote. & # 39; We will no longer deal with him. & # 39;
Despite their uncompromising public attitude, the Foreign Ministry immediately contacted Downing Street and Ms. May, who was in her Maidenhead constituency, was quickly informed of the situation. It was agreed that No. 10 would circle the cars around Sir Kim, because his job was to create a & # 39; fair, unvarnished & # 39; assessment of the situation in America.
Media all over the world reported the unguarded remarks of the ambassador, which gave a rare insight into how the Trump government works. All eyes were now on the White House response.
When Washington was empty for the weekend of July 4, President Trump and his family were staying at his 60-acre Bedace resort in New Jersey.
There, while his oldest allies gathered in the huge Georgian clubhouse of the Trump National Golf Club, they circulated the story between them on WhatsApp within minutes of first appearing on MailOnline. Mr. Trump's son, Don Jnr, reacted & # 39; furiously & # 39; to the story, a Washington source said.
The first sign of problems came when Arthur Schwartz, a long-time & # 39; fixer & # 39; for Don Jnr, coverage broke to tweet his dislike of Sir Kim. At the same time, Raheem Kassam, a former Nigel Farage assistant who is now a Washington-based Trump activist, is marking the story online.
Britain's Ambassador to Washington Sir Kim Darroch claimed that Donald Trump had left the nuclear deal with Iran as an act of & # 39; diplomatic vandalism & # 39; to punish his predecessor Barack Obama
The president was first informed of the row on Sunday; his first public mention came during a short & # 39; huddle & # 39; with journalists on that day at Morristown airport on his way back to Washington to Air Force One. & # 39; The ambassador has not served the UK well, I can tell you that … And I can say things about him, but I will not do it, & # 39; he said.
His promise to remain silent did not survive a visit to the White House by Foreign Ministry officials on Monday morning, where they fully informed Mr. Trump about the revelations of The Mail on Sunday.
Back in London, Mrs. May had sent supporting messages to Sir Kim to assure him that his work was safe: her time in number 10 was choked by leaks and she was determined that the culprit did not & # 39; scalp & # 39; would claim.
Mr. Trump's son, Don Jnr, reacted & # 39; furiously & # 39; on the story, a few minutes after it was published on the Mail Online
At the same time, officials from the British Embassy in Washington urged the White House that Sir Kim also & # 39; many positive things about the president & # 39; had said.
However, our diplomatic efforts were undermined by hardliners in Trumps administration who urged him to & # 39; nuclear & # 39; to be against Sir Kim. Shortly after his Oval Office briefing, Trump launched his first Twitter tirade: "I don't know the ambassador, but he is not loved or well conceived in the US," he wrote. & # 39; We will no longer deal with him. & # 39;
The storm grew when Sir Kim was invited to dinner at the White House in the evening, and the president returned early on Tuesday morning to Twitter: & # 39; The weird ambassador who forced the United Kingdom on the United States is not someone we love about his, a very stupid man, & he wrote,
By Tuesday afternoon, siege to Mr. Kim still sent an email to friends in London who bravely insisted that he & # 39; be good & # 39 ;.
Boris Johnson insisted that his refusal to support Sir Kim was misinterpreted during his television debate with Jeremy Hunt
But others in Whitehall were not so sure. A senior minister told The Mail on Sunday: & # 39; If Sir Kim was connected to Washington half as much as he claims, he would have known on Sunday morning how the wind blew and resigned. His arrogance that he could challenge the inevitable Trump storm was badly designed. & # 39;
On Wednesday morning – the day of Sir Kim's resignation – Downing Street still challenged him to stay at his post: at the 8:30 am critical meeting at No. 10, no mention was made of his resignation. But mid-morning in London, Sir Kim had decided that his position was untenable: Mrs. May had just enough time to make a statement to appear on Prime Minister's questions in the afternoon, just after the news came. broken.
A senior minister told The Mail on Sunday: & # 39; If Sir Kim was half connected to Washington as he claims, he would have known on Sunday morning how the wind blew and resigned. & # 39;
At that time, Boris Johnson was interviewed in a London pub as part of his leadership campaign. He returned to one of his two campaign centers, where he received a text from Sir Kim. A 15-minute conversation followed, during which Mr. Johnson paid tribute to the departing ambassador for his decades of public service.
Mr. Johnson insisted that his refusal to support him during his television debate with Mr. Hunt the previous evening was misinterpreted and said that he was evasive because he did not want to & # 39; politicize & # 39; Members of Johnson & # 39; s campaign blame Jeremy Hunt & # 39; s team for whipping & # 39; of the anger for political gain.
Sir Kim understood that he had told Johnson that he had realized that his & # 39; time was over & # 39; when Trump announced that he would no longer do business with him; that position was strengthened when he watched a recording of the debate and realized how political the issue had become.
But relations between Mr Johnson and Sir Kim have been disrupted for some time, and date from a visit that Mr Johnson made to Washington two years ago as Foreign Minister.
Assistant commissioner Neil Basu made an extraordinary plea on Friday for the leaker to hand in & # 39;
An official who worked for Boris then – but not now – broke into the British embassy in the morning at 2 o'clock in the morning after a long drinking session: he climbed over the wall and to his bedroom, where he was very ill , to the horror of Sir Kim and his team.
The relationship was also soured by the leak of another diplomatic memo by Sir Kim in 2016, which revealed his non-flapping ideas about the Trump government – a leak that foreign officials believed they came from, without providing evidence from the then team of Mr. Johnson.
Sir Kim's resignation on Wednesday raged officials and diplomats in Whitehall, which led to the investigation into the rising leak.
On Thursday morning, more than 320 people were contacted about the violation and a shortlist of four suspects was drawn up.
But when assistant commissioner Neil Basu made his extraordinary plea for the leaker to hand in & # 39; & # 39; – claiming that publication of the leaks & # 39; a criminal issue & # 39; could be – government sources already admitted that the GCHQ government's cyber spies would probably be used to speed up the hunt for the perpetrator.
And despite the speed with which the president's public anger had erupted, Trump repaired fences by Friday and said he wanted Sir Kim well.
He admitted that the US had leaky problems that he also had to solve, and insisted that Sir Kim had actually said very good things about me & # 39 ;.
Diplomats in Washington and officials in London breathed a sigh of relief as the storm passed after only five days.
Whitehall officials believe it was a personal dislike of Sir Kim & # 39; s comments that prompted Trump's response from the White House, rather than a broader threat to the special relationship, and expect a clear improvement in relationships when Mr. Johnson becomes prime minister.
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